Several Hamilton business districts will be getting federal cash as part of the My Main Street Local Business Accelerator program to help revitalize main streets. The money will come from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), who announced a $23.25-million investment to the Canadian Urban Institute (CUI) and the Economic Developers Council of Ontario (EDCO) to establish My Main Street — a two-year program to support the recovery and revitalization of main streets and local businesses in southern Ontario through two program streams.
The cash will support several initiatives including:
- Main Street Ambassador Non-Repayable Contribution – participating Main Street communities will receive a non-repayable contribution of $50,000 towards the 12-month salary of a Main Street Ambassador for their neighbourhood.
- Local Business Non-repayable contributions – Participating Main Street communities will receive up to ten $10K non-repayable contributions to support local businesses. Five non-repayable contributions are available for existing businesses, while five non-repayable contributions are available for new businesses.
- Community Market Profile – Before programming begins, each participating main street community will undergo a detailed Community Market Profile. This will involve secondary market research to understand the community’s trade area, its demographics, how residents spend their money, their mobility and how they consume media. It will also involve primary research that surveys the local community to understand what types of products and services are missing from their local community.
- Both the primary and secondary research will be used to target opportunities for rebuilding the participating Main Street.
- Wrap-Around Business Support – With the community market profile completed, each Main Street Ambassador will focus on providing wrap-around community economic development support for both new and existing businesses.
- Main Street Ambassador Network – Participating Main Street communities and their Main Street Ambassadors will have access to the My Main Street Ambassador Network, which will provide leadership, guidance, tools, resources and opportunities to share and amplify best practises and success stories.
The participating main street areas in Hamilton are:
• International Village BIA and King Street East Corridor
• James Street Corridor
• Waterdown BIA
• Western Downtown (Locke Street BIA/Main West BIA/Hess Village/King West BIA)
• Stoney Creek/East Hamilton
• Concession Street BIA
Noted Norm Schleehahn, Hamilton’s Norm Schleehahn, Director of Economic Development, “The City of Hamilton’s recently approved Economic Development Action Plan recognizes the economic importance of small business and the My Main Street program will not only provide more financial resources for this sector, but provides Ambassadors to meet with local businesses and understand the needs of this sector in real-time.”